Teaching Games for Understanding and Situated Learning: Rethinking the Bunker-Thorpe Model

  title={Teaching Games for Understanding and Situated Learning: Rethinking the Bunker-Thorpe Model},
  author={David Kirk and Ann MacPhail},
  journal={Journal of Teaching in Physical Education},
Bunker and Thorpe first proposed Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) in 1982 as an alternative to traditional, technique-led approaches to games teaching and learning. Despite interest from teachers and researchers, there has been no attempt to review the TGfU model. This is an oversight, given the important advances in educational learning theory and ecological approaches to motor control since the early 1980s. The purpose of this paper is to present a new version of the TGfU model that… 

Figures from this paper

Implications of instructional strategies in sport teaching: a nonlinear Pedagogy-based approach.
In this article, we have tried to establish the practical implications of instructional strategies in sport teaching.  Firstly, we have highlighted the importance of the Teaching Game for
Learning informally to use the ‘full version’ of teaching games for understanding
This paper examines an experienced teacher’s employment of the teaching games for understanding (TGfU) model in a UK secondary school. The study sought to investigate how the teacher delivered TGfU
Why the Constraints-Led Approach is not Teaching Games for Understanding: a clarification
Background: There is some apparent confusion regarding similarities and differences between two popular physical education (PE) pedagogical frameworks, that is, the Constraints-Led Approach (CLA) and
A Constructivist-Informed Approach to Teaching Swimming
Interest in constructivism has fueled enthusiasm for the development of games and team-sport pedagogy over the past decade, but individual sports have yet to receive the same attention. In this
Old wine in new bottles: a response to claims that teaching games for understanding was not developed as a theoretically based pedagogical framework
ABSTRACT Background: Teaching games for understanding (TGfU) has stimulated so much attention, research and debate since the 1980s that it is easy for its origins to become refracted and
Learning to Play Soccer: Lessons on Meta-cognition from Video Game Design
ABSTRACT Over the past decade, there has been ongoing debate relating to the use of suitable pedagogical approaches for designing learning environments to develop skillful games players. There has,
Implementing a tactical approach through action research
Background: Influenced by the original observations of Bunker and Thorpe, physical education theorists began to question the effectiveness of a traditional model for teaching games and have
A move to an innovative games teaching model: Style E Tactical (SET)
This paper reports on the development and testing of a hybrid model of teaching games – The Style ‘E’ Tactical (SET) Model. The SET is a combination of two pedagogical approaches: Mosston and
Learning informally to use teaching games for understanding
This article reports on a study of one recently qualified teacher’s employment of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) model in a UK secondary school. The study sought to examine how the
‘How does TGfU work?’: examining the relationship between learning design in TGfU and a nonlinear pedagogy
Background: In the last few decades, conceptions about teaching and learning in physical education have evolved from a teacher-centred approach to a more student-centred approach where learners are


Teaching Games for Understanding: Its Contribution to the Knowledge of Skill Acquisition from a Motor Learning Perspective
The Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) approach has received, considerable support in the pedagogical literature and has been warmly accepted by physical educators. Observation of the motor
Teaching Games for Understanding: A Situated Perspective on Student Learning.
This paper presents an interpretation of student learning from a situated learning perspective, seeking to enhance approaches already employed in teaching games for understanding (TGfU) research. The
Implementing a Game Sense Approach to Teaching Junior High School Basketball in a Naturalistic Setting
Traditional approaches to teaching and learning in physical education classes have concentrated on the development of so-called ‘fundamental sport skills’ rather than account for the contextual
Tactical Knowledge in Team Sports From a Constructivist and Cognitivist Perspective
Traditionally, teaching team sports has been based on a strategy that puts forward the mastery of motor skills prior to actual involvement in the game, thus emphasizing physical capacities more than
Dewey, Peirce, and the Learning Paradox
This article deals with a problem that has vexed educators and learning theorists for years—the so-called learning paradox. Attempts to explain how it is that new and better knowledge is fashioned
Situated Learning in Physical Education
In this paper we argue that a version of situated learning theory, as one component of a broader constructivist theory of learning in physical education, can be integrated with other forms of social
Aspects of an Educational Learning Theory
Contemporary cognitive science has created the possibility of an educational learning theory closely related to existing cognitive theories but operative at a higher level of description. Issues that
Reflections on “Models of Games Education”
Abstract In the April 1990 issue, JOPERD published “Models of Games Education” by Werner and Almond. The article examined three approaches to teaching games. Here, two colleagues question one of the
Obstacles to Understanding Cognition As Situated
Greeno (1997) argued that these are misreadings of situative positions, occasioned by paradigmatic differences in presupposition and language: "In discussions of the situative and cognitive
Teaching Sport Concepts and Skills: A Tactical Games Approach for Ages 7 to 18
The Tactical Games Curriculum Model is presented, a model for how to teach tactical games to students in the classroom using a variety of strategies, including the use of crisis management, crisis intervention, and crisis management techniques.